29 December 2014

Yesterday’s rain has gone, leaving behind it a fresh night sky with bright spots of starlight. Where the mists rose from the hillside (drifting lines of white fog that meandered up, forming curlicues that hovered before being sucked back down into the forest) we can now see – although it has always been there – that there is a patch of rainforest in a gully surrounded by eucalypts. At the front of the forest a stand of young eucalypts stood uniformly tall, uniformly bare-trunked to a ball of leaves, when the mist silhouetted them against the hill.

The rain has other benefits, like the steady call of frogs as night falls. There is a low background consistent hum of croaks from the paddock; closer to the house a ‘crik crik crik’ noise. Coming in above that an intermittent grrr-aak, grrr-aak grinding its way through the dark. Then there is the loud discordant screech that stops and starts. What was once a general ‘sound of frogs’ – the sound of summer nights, washed air, grateful bush sighing – now pulls apart into the stony creek frog, the green tree frog, the common eastern froglet and, unmistakably, the bleating tree frog.

Although I’m not quite sure that the bleating tree frog could really be called a benefit.